COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH BOARD OF CHICAGO, INC. DePaul University Center 333 South State Street Chicago, Illinois 60604 312-747-9888
To: ALL BOARD MEMBERS, DIRECTORS,
STAKEHOLDERS AND FRIENDS
From: Mr. Darryl L. Gumm, Chairman of the Board
Date: July 21, 2009
Subject: COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH BOARD MEETING MEMBERS STAKEHOLDERS AND FRIENDS
Our regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, July, 27, 2009 at 10:00am. Location: 333 South State Street in the Board Room the 2nd floor.
This will be our last meeting prior to our summer break. As you may have heard the centers are in danger of being closed again.
We look forward to seeing you at this important meeting. We need your participation if we are to be successful in this quest for fairness for Mental Health services. Please plan to attend this important meeting.
Darryl L. Gumm
Chairman of the Board
We need you to join us tomorrow (Friday 7/24) at 5pm at the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic (6337 S. Woodlawn).
The City is using the state budget crisis as an excuse to come after our mental health clinics again and we won’t let them take our victory out of our hands. We are going to be building support especially in the religious community by going from clinic to clinic doing prayer vigils to raise awareness and culminating in a big action at the department of health. Help us start off with a bang this Friday by giving a few minutes of your time to help defend these important services.
Southside Together Organizing for Power
813 E.63rd Street, 2nd Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Mayor Daley reneges on his promise to keep four south side mental health centers open.
Chicago public health commissioner, Terry Mason, told the Chicago Board of Health on Wednesday that once again CDPH will move to close 4 or 5 mental health centers in 30 to 45 days. This time North River Mental Health Center will be included among the centers to be closed. Reportedly, the commissioner has or will brief local aldermen about the closures. The closures have been sanctioned by the Mayor’s office.
Dr. Mason is blaming state funding cuts for the impending mental health center closures. Although the state is making cuts, we are still experiencing repercussions from the city’s mismanagement of the transition to mental health fee-for-service service billing (including software system issues) and ongoing city hiring freezes and cuts in city mental health funding. Half of the 40 plus positions lost from the CDPH mental health services budget in fiscal 2009 were due to reduced local (not state) funding.
Adding to the injury is the decision by the Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Mental Health (IDHS/DMH) [based on Governor Quinn’s “doomsday state budget”] to stop funding non-Medicaid services. Non-Medicaid services include services provided to individuals not covered by Medicaid. They also include other services that assist individuals (Medicaid insured or not) in recovery such as vocational services and job retention and supports, and oral interpretation and sign language services. This is a major policy change being implemented by IDHS, a change that virtually eliminates most of the safety net community mental health services for the uninsured. According to IDHS billing reports for 2007 and 2008, just over half of CDPH mental health center client service counts are non-Medicaid. It will be difficult for the city to argue that there are other local providers who can step in and absorb the uninsured because other community mental health providers are losing their funding for the uninsured, too.
CDPH is planning to close most of its seven primary health centers. Last week the Chicago Neighborhood Health Centers Board met in closed session to discuss criteria for choosing which of the seven centers to close or turnover to interested federally qualified health centers (FQHC). The CNHC Board has taken no steps, to date, to inform primary care clinic consumers that they are having such discussions.